26th July, 2011
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Freedom of Information, FOI, law is to ensure transparency, accountability and check corruption in the country. Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this while delivering a lecture on FOI at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos.
â€œIndividuals think this bill is a media bill but itâ€™s meant for every Nigerian. Every Nigerian has the right to know how much was spent on the Benin-Ore Road; individuals are free to ask questions and ask how often I go to the chambers; how much your local government chairman earns; etc,” she added.
She explained that “the bill basically is to give information, and if any individual is deprived of information within seven days such individual is free to go to court and the offender will pay a fine of N500,000.”
The legislator argued that individuals had no right to destroy necessary information and advised Nigerians to make good use of the bill by learning to be accountable.
She appealed to journalists to do follow up on scandalous cases and refused to give up until they get to the bottom of the matter.
She pleaded with upcoming journalists to be disciplined, hardworking and make integrity their watchword.
Dignitaries present at the occasion include the former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Dr. Udozi Israel Ibekwe, Gloria Doyle and others.
â€”Omolabake Oguntade And Anuoluwa Jegede